Alone, together // Alleine, zusammen features work made in 2020-21 individually by featured artist Kristen Tordella-Williams and collaboratively between Tordella-Williams and artists and musicians from the USA and Germany. The first work is a portfolio of drawings made solely by Tordella-Williams using watercolor and mixed media on toned Canson paper. Titled the Quarantine Portfolio, each lifelike drawing features items found around the artist’s home and were made in the early days of the pandemic. Due to the timing, all of the mundane objects have a sinister undertone while displaying the small moments of the early days of isolation.
The projection features Bound, an experimental video piece made by salem2salem residency alumni over the summer of 2020 into the fall. The twenty minute video features original music scored by German musicians Michael T. Otto and Phillipe Wozniak as well as American musician Will Phalen. The video imagery includes depictions of nature, performance art, destruction, and binding/unbinding with performances by American artists Amy Kaps and Kristen Tordella-Williams as well as German artist Hans Winkler. The lyrics focus on the international lockdown and its resulting ripple effect on our sanity and day-to-day experience. Multiple volunteers from America and Germany contributed to the final work by recording the text and contributing their own audio and video readings.
The second video on the projection is Pollination Ceremony, which depicts the collaborative performance of the same name. Performed with musicians Phillippe Wozniak and Michael T. Otto on June 27, 2021 during the Frühlingsglaube vernissage at the Ateliers im Alten Schlachthof in Sigmaringen, Germany, the performance presents the artist awakening and pollinating her collaborators and audience with a custom floral fülhorn sculpture and marigold petals.
Finally, the iron coated 3D printed sculptures and bright performance images of the Alligator Dream project greet viewers outside and at the front of the gallery. Alligator Dreams is a transatlantic sculpture and performance collaboration between Kristen Tordella-Williams and Susanne Zazo. The two artists met in 2019 at the salem2salem residency program in Salem, NY and have since made sculptures, performance art, photography, poetry, and drawings centered on an abstract alligator form. The Alligator Dreams pieces featured in this exhibition are a culmination of two years working together over video conferencing until they were finally reunited in person to make art together in July of 2021.
Ultimately, the exhibition describes these unprecedented times when we were often physically alone, but our hearts and minds came together through creative perseverance and the marvels of modern technology. Alone, together // Alleine, zusammen celebrates the spirit of collaboration and imagination despite the overarching challenges of our present moment and the bonds made between makers that transcend physical and political boundaries.
About the collaborators
Susanne Hackenbracht (DE)
Susanne Hackenbracht is a steel sculptor and painter born 1967 in Brannenburg, Germany. She has been a freelance artist since 1998 and is the co-founder of the sculpture park project “Neue Kunst am Ried” in Wald, Hohenzollern. “In Susanne Hackebrachts work every now and again elementary forms appear –like circles, semicircles, rectangles or cylinders. They seem to be like a concealed vocabulary, some sort of hidden system of notation that has to be read and decoded. Besides these forms, she often deals with the substance she uses in an elementary way. Steel, concrete, iron, glass and oil-based paint meet the observer often in a raw and visible materiality. This immediate treatment of the material – the forming out of the formless – is crucial to her work. The boundaries between wilful pieces and coincidentally made ones often become blurred. The spectre ranges as far as the appearance of the material as amorphous mass to precisely crafted geometrical forms. In the work of Susanne Hackenbracht, these extremes aren’t mutually exclusive. Further the geometrical vocabulary provides a
distancing perspective in the otherwise often intuitively and immediately appearing work.”
- Katharina Wetzel, Art Historian
Amy Kaps (USA)
Amy Kaps is an interdisciplinary artist recognizable by her signature palette of Black and White Stripes with Pink accents. Possessing a predilection for the abstract and surreal while emphasizing the human form and condition, she presents a psychological puzzle enticing the viewer to question what they see. Highly conceptual with the intention of altering perception and provoking thought, she questions the status quo while reveling in a feast for the senses, deciphering common denominators while recognizing the similarities within our differences connecting us regardless of age, race or gender. Working in the realms of performance, installation, video, photography, music and words in the United States, Germany, Cuba and Spain, Amy Kaps was conceived in Columbus, Ohio, born in Brooklyn, NY, raised in suburban New Jersey, schooled in upstate NY and Japan, lived in New York, Köln, Germany and currently resides in Venice, California and occupies a studio in DTLA.
Michael T. Otto (DE)
Ausgebildet an der Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. Otto ist Pädagoge, Komponist, Arrangeur und Gründer diverser Ensembles wie z.B. „STUBENJAZZ“. Nebenbei entwickelt er mit dem Instrumentenbauer Fritz Lüttke Trompeten und Flügelhörner, ist Erfinder des in Trompeten- /Posaunen-Kreisen bekannten Whisper-Penny® und führt die künstlerische Leitung des MONTFORT JAZZ CLUB am Bodensee.
Will Phalen (USA)
Will Phalen is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Wisconsin and currently living in Chicago, USA. His work focuses on the intersection of past, present and future in music and finding unique, innovative ways of wedding together the old and the new, the acoustic and the electronic, the fret board and the mother board -- exploring folk modalities as they collide with contemporary and progressive frameworks. Will runs a record label (Sub-Urban Arts Collective), a recording studio (Cold Ghost Recordings), and a music school (Midwestern School of Music). When he's not making music or teaching music or recording music, Will enjoys cooking meals at home, camping in the woods of Wisconsin, and visiting the Logan Square Farmer's Market with his wife Anna, their daughter Lulu and their dog Ziggy.
Hans Winkler (DE)
Hans-Christian Winkler was born in 1989 in the Black Forest and studied art education painting and graphics with Prof. Corinne Wasmuht at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. From 2014-2016, he then completed his studies in intermedia design at Discoteca Flaming Star in Stuttgart. In 2016, he also participated in the FART 1st Stuttgart South International Film Festival. Hans Winkler, participated in the salem2salem International Artist Exchange twice and trained as an art educator in 2017-2018.
Philippe Wozniak (DE)
Philippe Wozniak (*1985) is a German composer. His compositions never reveal the complete structure. This results in the fact that he can easily imagine his own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality. With a conceptual approach, he tries to increase the dynamic between audience and musicians by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations. His works directly respond to the surrounding environment and use everyday experiences as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. Philippe Wozniak currently lives and works in Freiburg (Germany).